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Norco Introduces a New Look DH Race Division

May 1, 2024 at 6:03
by Norco Bicycles  
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PRESS RELEASE: Norco Bicycles

NEW TEAM, NEW AESTHETIC. AND A DOCUSERIES GIVING YOU UNRIVALLED ACCESS TO A WORLD CUP RACE TEAM.

After we announced the addition of Greg Minnaar as Team Captain, it feels like all eyes are on us going into the 2024 UCI Downhill World Cup season. Of course we're going to go big.

Today, we're unveiling the new Norco Race Division, aimed at building a long-term, high-impact presence in the Downhill scene. We're also giving fans an unfiltered peek behind the scenes in a docuseries that will run for the entire race season.

bigquotesAs we celebrate our 60th anniversary, it felt right to elevate the brand by introducing a new look for the team. The Norco Race Division is made up of world-class riders, mechanics and support staff, all of whom will be featured in a raw and emotional docuseries running throughout the season, while the bold team look takes inspiration from our heritage and modern street culture.Gwen van Lingen, Head of Brand at Norco

You may have seen the team roll into Fort William, where they will don their new kit and bikes, while the iconic team truck will take its place in the pits. The overall aesthetic is reminiscent of motocross, BMX and jet ski racing during the 80s and 90s.


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Custom frames by Fresh Paints of Whistler
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The kit design is a curated mix’n'match of simple graphics and colour to create bold shapes. The truck celebrates the mindset of the dirt bike pioneers who packed up the car or the box van and went racing for kicks, bringing unrivalled attitude and flamboyance.


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We worked on the new team livery with renowned design pairing Nick Larsen and Paul Bliss out of London, well known within the bike world for their work with Cannondale, Fox, Charge Bikes and more. The pair looked back through 60 years of Norco heritage, taking inspiration from past logos, retro colours, iconic bike designs and decades of innovation, to create a look and feel that is unique in the world of mountain bikes.


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bigquotesI have known Greg since the 90’s and was intrigued by his move to Norco. I suggested to him that it could be fun to do something really disruptive with his new team’s kit, and it turned out that both he and Norco really wanted to push the boat on the new DH team.Nick Larsen

bigquotesWe took Norco’s origin story in British Columbia, the brand’s passion for racing BMX in the region during its formative years, mixed it with influences from streetwear, freestyle mountain biking, and the symbolism of the rock.Paul Bliss


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More kits and bike graphics will be revealed as the season progresses so get ready for a wild ride.

To capture the excitement of the Norco Race Division this season, we will be launching an exclusive docuseries entitled “Just Getting Started” with new episodes dropping days after each race. The series will provide an all access, no-holds-barred look into what it means to be a part of a World Cup team, with behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive access to Minnaar, his teammates, and the wider support network.

Check out the trailer here and keep an eye on Norco.com for more team updates and episode releases.


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Author Info:
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Member since Feb 11, 2000
132 articles

137 Comments
  • 307 21
 CEO: I just laid off the entire marketing department, who should we get to do the designs?
VP: My 11 year old nephew is getting pretty good with microsoft paint
CEO: I love it.
  • 13 1
 All that work.... Ends up covered in mud
  • 6 2
 No bueno
  • 13 0
 Give that kid unlimited candy and mountain dew
  • 16 0
 I was thinking the same thing but the team roundup photo at the end is pretty cool, wish other teams did something like that to give some recognition to everyone
  • 4 3
 They should have just done the branding all RAW aluminum with black lettering and orange accents. The bike looks amazing in the group photo. That paint job, not so much...
  • 2 2
 spot on.
  • 214 13
 At first I wasn't sure. Then I realized that at least they're trying something different and fun instead of that overpolished corporate everything-the-same vibe and I decided this rules.
  • 22 16
 I kinda thought the same thing but that is contradicted by the branding being slapped haphazardly all over EVERYTHING in literally 10 different color/style variations. Love the team and the "different" look missed the mark.
  • 20 1
 Same, especially when the other option, that a lot of teams seem to have taken, is shut down the team.
  • 16 1
 @JJ-Crank: Reminds me of "misprint" skateboarding t shirts with all the logos printed on the shirt in different places. Kinda sick if you ask me
  • 17 1
 I get the punk attitude, DIY, don't be corporate, great stuff honestly, but I do wish they went more punk and less art hoe with it.
  • 2 0
 @eae903: like croporate didn't give the team quite enough leash
  • 8 0
 @tgent: Strange though right?
Like Norco "paused" the DH team, then re-started the team, then this?
There must have been some sort of contracts that needed to cancelled, or soemthing, cause this is all a bit much.
Like it looks like more money has been poured into the DH team than than all other disciplines combined. I'm all for it, I'm a Norco fan, right from the days of the VPS-1,2.
This is wild, and I honestly couldnt care too much about how it looks, as long as Gracy and Lucas have a wicked fast bike, and all the support in the world behind them. I want this team to smash DH courses
  • 4 0
 @eae903: I love it all but the portraits of the riders are kinda offputting
  • 8 0
 Art should be everywhere. Lets get weird.
  • 2 0
 @KolaPanda: Yeah, I agree, and I'm not a huge fan of the kits, or the general aesthetic I guess haha. I know it was basic but the green jerseys with the white pants they had before was a really good look, could have kept that, and spiced it up a bit, made it more unique.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: I think it makes sense. Their old team was floundering and languishing, few to no real wins/podiums/good results and minimal marketing exposure for an exorbitant cost. They decided it's not worth it in the old setup.

Then comes Greg looking for a contract. I'm sure his salary is much higher than they were paying their previous athletes, but the overall cost of running a WC DH team is largely in the travel and logistics, with salaries being a line item within that total budget. They made the call that it would be worth it sign Greg and continue on, instantly gaining a ton of recognition and marketing appeal. I applaud them for the decision, and when you get an opportunity to snag the GOAT, you take it!
  • 2 0
 @tgent: The timeline looks like they shuttered a DH/XC team, to free up money to be able to sign MInaar, as they are back with 2 of the previous DH team members. Blenki, and Mark Wallace being the ones not coming back (and possibly the XC team?)
Its an interesting timeline of events, and decisions to go through. Greg is in the twilight of his racing career for sure, but maybe he brings enough team logistics/management/marketing to offset that cost. Who knows.

It all just seems like a big endeavour for a team that was "closing down", but I guess it had more to do with cancelling contracts, than actually closing shop.
  • 117 6
 Like a trainwreck...I'm horrified but I can't look away
  • 34 4
 So bad it’s good?
  • 42 0
 If Frida Kahlo grew up in the 80s...and did meth. A lot of it.
  • 1 1
 @Murphius:
So bad it’s just bad…
  • 90 4
 Is it my style? No. Do I love their creativity and ‘fun’ it portrays? Absolutely.

Question — what’s with the moon-rock/meteor/?
  • 15 0
 "That's. . . That's a Space Peanut"
  • 8 0
 @Yfly: We call them Boeing Bombs
  • 3 0
 It's the mountain bike mountain
  • 3 0
 Dude you were eating fries off of it!
  • 5 0
 Yeah, the mountain graphic is odd. But otherwise I think this kit is going to look pretty sharp on the riders! TBH, the best part of all of this is while other brands are pulling back Norco is doubling down on DH, combining up and comers with legends, both on the bike and in the pits... scores a big EH from this canuck.
  • 1 0
 for smoking
  • 5 0
 It's a piece of Heisenberg's crystal; they smoked some of it before painting the portraits
  • 77 9
 looks rad
  • 17 21
flag jaycubzz (May 1, 2024 at 11:41) (Below Threshold)
 Love all the gen x/early millenial haters who have no sense of creativity commenting on this. Probably the same people wearing louis garneau and pearl izumi.
  • 9 0
 @jaycubzz: uhh Gen Xers went through the neon 80s... Don't think anyone over 40 is hating on this stuff...
  • 2 0
 @jaycubzz: probably Rapha, tbh
  • 1 0
 @OlSkoolJake: right. I remember the crew of dudes and dudettes that traveled in all Oakley attire and neon colors complete with mullets and the wrap around sunglasses. We used to refer to them as “the fluorescent people”.
  • 55 0
 Props for introducing the WHOLE team! Takes a lot to race at the highest level.
  • 24 3
 It's a strong look. I'm into it. It's better than identikit racing stripes and flames etc.
  • 19 0
 You won't be missing the Norco team on track this season!
  • 7 0
 The bikes look awesome! Nice work.
  • 13 0
 I want the effing semi truck
  • 1 0
 Nice work Dewey!
  • 17 1
 I can't say I'm a huge fan of any of the color combos they went with, but the team idea is cool.
  • 17 0
 From closing down their race team 18m ago to this. Quite the budget shift.
  • 8 1
 Question is, how long will this last before they cancel funding again
  • 2 0
 Yeah that's the weirdest thing. Not as if the bike industry is doing well... Norco just goes and announces a really complete race team...
  • 19 3
 BALLER
  • 18 6
 Finally someone doing it right eh.
  • 12 0
 It's cool that Greg brought Kathy along to lead operations.
  • 3 0
 Yep, Kathy being on the team is the biggest surprise I got from this article. The design doesn't do it for me.
  • 2 0
 So it IS the same Kathy Sessler who was the Santa Cruz Syndicate's Den Mother. Glad to see she's found a new home. Thought is was a little dirty of SC when they cut her loose after all those years of dedication. Being back with Greg has got to be a good homecoming for all the years they spent together.
  • 2 0
 @SeaHag: she had been gone from SC for a few years, Peat took over the team manager position from her. From the get-go Minnar said Kathy was going to be the team manager.
  • 13 6
 Wicked imagery going on at Norco, I like it! Will defiently set them aside from most other teams. Anyone know what the symbolism of the rock is? I have no clue what there talking about. The lava rock thing does look pretty cool
  • 7 0
 Once again I'm struck by how much I don't understand the economics of the bike industry. Are there 15 people drawing a full-time salary, plus a truck, plus travel, food, lodging, race entry fees, insurance, advertising, and, and, and ...? This feels like a multimillion dollar "bet" (in the Alphabet/Google sense of the word). I have two Norco bikes in my basement, so I hope it pays off. Nice to see someone investing in racing right now, for sure.

I wonder how the performance of this marketing campaign will be measured, since we have seen such wild swings in the industry in the last few years in terms of sales volumes. It seems like it would be tough to compare year over year unit sales as a measure of success.
  • 10 0
 You and me both, this has got to be a million/pa plus investment. Ownership is getting on in years and I speculate they are looking to sell at some point in the future. I think they are looking to see what the company can do if they give the new VP's and CEO the resources they are asking for. This looks like a hail-mary, swing for fences type move. For years Norco was very fiscally conservative and I think it hampered growth, as engineering, marketing, etc was all bootstrapped. Increased investment in Norco started in 2018, namely in engineering, now that the product is world class I think ownership is investing in marketing to see how the market responds.

Time will tell.
  • 6 0
 Yeah it’s expensive, but you’ll eat your words when their DH bike sales quadruple! (From 3 to 12)
  • 3 0
 Bike industry: Everything is expensive and nobody makes money.
  • 11 1
 did you guys miss the PALACE RAPHA drop
  • 10 0
 its the same designer, Nick Larsen has quotes in the article.
  • 9 1
 Heavy brutalist feels. I’m digging the majority of it, but those portraits are a bit hard to embrace.
  • 4 0
 I know it wasn't intended, but it looks like the caption would be "Three vampires accost Larry Bird at a party."
  • 6 0
 Very hip outsider/folk art feel to the portraits, which is kind of interesting paired with the hyperrealism of the rock and retro typography. It's certainly unique.
  • 9 0
 Utterly blursed.
  • 8 1
 Mission accomplished. First day of the new season and Norco is getting all the media coverage.
  • 1 0
 Fox said hold my beer
  • 1 2
 "All the media coverage" - meaning a press release posted on their owned Pinkbike channel?
  • 8 1
 This may actually be the ugliest thing I have ever seen. And I see myself in the mirror every day.
  • 7 0
 I cant tell which team that kit is for...
  • 7 0
 Big Gradient Coffee Energy
  • 7 0
 Giv'r the beans Lucas!
  • 4 0
 If the team was a low budget, punk, race in jeans but who cares about results outfit then the branding would fit. But they are the exact opposite. It looks like the Beavis and Butthead dh race team.
  • 4 1
 Here. Anyone seen "Minnaar: Not Done Yet".
Was on Eurosport this evening.

Basically said that The Syndicate was a complete shit show and there was no support for him at all last year. All their fault.

Was this all well know in the general MTB scene? How have I missed this?
  • 3 0
 Watched it last night, pretty scathing. But more surprisingly, Roskopp agreed. Was a pretty interesting insight into how things just weren't working anymore.
  • 3 0
 Knew something was up when Greg changed his mechanic mid year but didn't realise the extent of it.
  • 3 0
 @markdavid: Yah, that was interesting to me as well that Roskopp put the boot in there so hard too.
I mean, it's difficult not to think it's just sour apples from him and Greg, the team environment there has not effected the luck of a first year elite from succeeding, along with Hoffman consistently on the podium as well, so can't be at all that bad?
  • 2 1
 @willyheff: didn’t they win the team overall for the first time and without any contribution from Greg? I’d say the syndicate now is better than ever.
Rob is rapidly losing his credibility and stature, sadly
  • 6 0
 Props for putting EH on the rig EH.
  • 6 0
 Gonna be great to see a hungry Goat in Fort Bill!
  • 8 2
 Norco rocks?
Norco rock?

It's a fun look whatever it is
  • 5 0
 Kinda reminds me of a cigarette.
  • 5 0
 I was thinking ice cream sandwich even though that shouldn't have any lime green in it
  • 4 0
 The team jersey certainly has the Philip morris barcode vibe the Ferrari F1 team use to rock!
  • 3 0
 @Grady-Harris: I can get behind an ice cream sammie livery. Bike Mechanics everywhere rejoice. Currency of the Gods.

Raw frames, sticky bomb ice cream sammies on the headtube and rear triangle. Ice cream man themed kit. Ice cream truck themed team truck. Then hand out sammies to fans.

You'd be the most popular team in the paddock and among the fans.That season would go viral.
  • 5 0
 What is the blue rock about?
  • 7 3
 Hideous look! Wish you guys the best. Kids.....learn everything you can from Kathy and Greg, they've been there.
  • 5 0
 I think they were going for "Horribly Fantastic"... Nailed It!!!!
  • 4 1
 They going to call the new DH bike The Shocker? With that pink and brown scheme the riders are going to get no end of roasting from other people.
  • 2 0
 Cove already did it
  • 3 0
 Reminds me of the Rapha gear that Palace designed. I think it looks super cool. Definitely getting some '90s motocross vibes too.
  • 2 0
 Can't decide if I like the look or not. I'll decide when I see Greg wearing the kit for real and riding the bike. Maybe then it will all come together. I think it's harder to judge by looking at drawings.
  • 5 0
 DAMN...April 1st came around super fast again lol
  • 4 0
 Kit is sick, bikes are sick, whole team recognition is sick, back of the trailer is questionable haha
  • 5 0
 Am I tripping?
  • 5 0
 I love this
  • 2 0
 So cool to see. In fairness that aesthetic will be a talking point for a long while to come. I reckon that kit in real life will be nuts.
  • 2 0
 Text book aesthetics of "Anti-Cool". These guys and girls are awesome; I don't care if they wear Armani or Von Dutch, I just Love 'em and wish them a Winning Season!
  • 3 0
 I'm ready to buy a T-shirt, and the last Norco I bought was a 2009 Sasquatch
  • 3 0
 Kinda feel that if the team is on the podium who cares about whoever’s opinion of the graphics
  • 2 0
 I’d love to see this rig rolling down the road, very cool!
The racer pics on the back add a sense of humour and I’d have a little chuckle as it overtook me Smile
  • 6 3
 Not so sure about the mongo Lucas / special Greg caricatures.
  • 3 0
 The raw finish on the bike in the group photo is so nice.
  • 4 1
 I saw the helmet in person and it’s look incredible.
  • 3 0
 At least they went all-in.
  • 2 0
 I don't like it, but it's different and would be a step-up from my vomitous lime-green Optic.
  • 4 1
 Good job boys! Keep it funky fresh
  • 3 0
 not crazy about the faces....but the rest is strong
  • 4 1
 hate me, but I dig the paintjob on the bikes...
  • 3 0
 Agree. I think Pepto Bismol is an unfriendly color, but otherwise the finish is spectacular. That green reminds me of '70s plastic mall furniture.
  • 4 0
 how high were they
  • 3 2
 This looks amazing! Finally a team with some courage. Was absolutely boring, looking at these 90's MX pits and template design "layouts"
  • 3 0
 I think well done, makes everything else look stale which it kinda is
  • 3 0
 Bike and kit will look wicked when it’s all together and on track!
  • 2 0
 Whether its good or bad, its going to get them noticed. Standing out is the game of this name.
  • 3 0
 Wow. That's some butt-ugly shit! But I hope Norco does well.
  • 1 1
 The team portraits on the back of the truck is amazing. Bring Ratboy back onto this team. Reunite Greg and his old teammate for a fun but serious season of racing.
  • 1 0
 So is Sam Hill racing for Norco this year? (top left on the back of the truck)
  • 1 0
 Is everyone shocked whos shocked that minnar is on norco and now they have a downhill race team
  • 3 1
 Can’t wait to see next years clean sweep and re brand!
  • 1 0
 Nobody would be able to recognize the team when seeing the outfit, you might want to add the logo.
  • 2 0
 This PR is a month too late.
  • 4 1
 This looks….. bad
  • 1 0
 I have strong feelings about all of this, but I'm too busy looking for a job to express them at the moment...
  • 2 0
 Awesome program Norco, serious commitment!
  • 1 0
 Please, don't call it a "docu-series"
I don't know who else hates this term, but I sure do!
  • 6 6
 It’s May 1st not April 1st right? Wow, I hope the new bike is better than the new graphics.
  • 2 0
 Breaking Bad vibes.
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome, go Norco
  • 2 2
 Cool, I love seeing something different! Excuse me while I clean the vomit off my keyboard
  • 1 1
 That's a new look all right
  • 3 2
 stop it
  • 1 1
 I see what you tried yo do. Tried being the key word.
  • 5 5
 Wallace. Looks like you dodged one.
  • 4 4
 Trying to hard, hideous is not cool
  • 1 0
 This is a shocker!
  • 1 0
 Is then a Gen-X thing?
  • 1 0
 third rock!







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